Beneath the waves: CLF charts the course for a network of ocean conservation areas.CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS WHO HAVE READ The Lorax by Dr. Seuss Noun 1. Dr. Seuss - United States writer of children's books (1904-1991)
Geisel, Theodor Seuss Geisel take to heart the sad result of the unsustainable exploitation of nature and the ecosystem destruction that follows. "And at that very moment, we heard a loud whack! From outside in the fields came a sickening smack of an axe on a tree. Then we heard the tree fall. The very last Trufulla Tree of them all!"
The Truffula Trees disappear, and with them the homes of the Lorax, the Brown Bar-ba-loots and the Humming-fish. Mismanagement mis·man·age
tr.v. mis·man·aged, mis·man·ag·ing, mis·man·ag·es
To manage badly or carelessly.
mis·manage·ment n. of a natural resource not only negatively affects plants and animals Plants and Animals are a Canadian indie-rock band from Montreal, comprised of guitarist-vocalists Warren Spicer and Nic Basque, and drummer-vocalist Matthew Woodley. They are signed to Secret City Records. living nearby, but also can leave humans without the very products they sought for consumption. So it goes for our ocean resources, seemingly limitless, though increasingly stressed.
But the clear moral of a children's story is somehow out of our grasp when it comes to the ocean. Deep beneath the impenetrable surface of the sea, similar destruction of our ocean ecosystem has been happening. Only these changes are not visible to the naked eye. We begin to see the ocean's destruction in another way: the disappearance of marine animals that once lived there. Fish, corals, whales and other marine life can no longer thrive because humans have ravaged rav·age
v. rav·aged, rav·ag·ing, rav·ages
1. To bring heavy destruction on; devastate: A tornado ravaged the town.
2. so much of their environment.
In New England New England, name applied to the region comprising six states of the NE United States—Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The region is thought to have been so named by Capt. , our marine ecosystems are suffering an onslaught of ecological devastation. Centuries of economic and cultural prosperity based on the rich fisheries in the Gulf of Maine The Gulf of Maine is a large gulf of the Atlantic Ocean on the northeastern coast of North America.
It is delineated by Cape Cod at the eastern tip of Massachusetts in the southwest and Cape Sable at the southern tip of Nova Scotia in the northeast. and on Georges Bank Georges Bank
Submerged sandbank in the Atlantic Ocean east of Massachusetts, U.S. It has long been an important fishing ground, with scallops harvested in its northeastern portion. Navigation is made dangerous by crosscurrents and fog. are teetering on the edge of collapse as the current populations of many marine organisms decline to dangerous levels or disappear.
Pollution continues to gush from our rivers and streams, dumping toxics and nutrients in the ocean and degrading near-shore food webs. Foreign chemicals are now suspected of interfering with the hormonal systems of marine organisms, causing reproductive abnormalities in fish. Dams and other obstructions block fish passage, choking the annual cycles of river-run fish that have historically fed massive populations of coastal fish.
The whaling industry so integral to the history of New England This article presents the History of New England, the oldest clearly-defined region of the United States, unique among U.S. geographic regions in that it is also a former political entity. and eastern Canada Eastern Canada (also the Eastern provinces) is the region of Canada generally considered to be east of Manitoba, consisting of the following provinces:
Today much of the sea floor, once populated by an abundance of marine animals like cold water corals and anemones, has been heavily impacted by industrial fishing gear, cable and pipeline laying machines, and sand and gravel mining. Large expanses of sea floor habitat have been left in ruin, depleted de·plete
tr.v. de·plet·ed, de·plet·ing, de·pletes
To decrease the fullness of; use up or empty out.
[Latin d of their natural marine life.
Marine ecosystems involve complex food webs based on interdependent marine life. For instance, herring are an essential link in the food web, as a variety of species including cod, tuna, striped bass striped bass
moronesaxatilis. and whales rely on them for food. Herring also serve as bait for the lobster industry. If overfishing Overfishing occurs when fishing activities reduce fish stocks below an acceptable level. This can occur in any body of water from a pond to the oceans. More precise biological and bioeconomic terms define 'acceptable level'. and habitat destruction Habitat destruction is a process of land use change in which one habitat-type is removed and replaced with another habitat-type. In the process of land-use change, plants and animals which previously used the site are displaced or destroyed, reducing biodiversity. threaten one type of marine organism, the survival of other species that depend on it for food are threatened as well.
Steve Boggess, former owner of Golden Eye Seafood in New Bedford, Massachusetts New Bedford is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, located about 51 miles (82 kilometers) south of Boston, 28 miles (45 kilometers) southeast of Providence, Rhode Island, and about 12 miles (19 kilometers) east of Fall River. , can attest to changes in fish populations. "We could see it happening, first when the fish that came in were getting smaller and smaller. Then we started to see fewer and fewer fish," he recalls. "I saw everything from catch limits, days-at-sea limits, larger net size--nothing has worked. There is only one thing--one thing--you can do to bring those fish back: Leave 'em alone. Just leave 'em alone."
This is exactly what CLF CLF
The ISO 4217 currency code for Chile Unidades de Fomento. is proposing in key areas: leave them alone. CLF's new vision for ocean conservation areas is a monumental step forward in the effort to create protected areas in the ocean that, if implemented correctly, could promise a new future of ocean habitat rebuilding and population recovery. Coupled with adequate marine pollution control, responsible fishery management, and comprehensive ocean planning, marine habitat protection completes the framework for sustaining the Gulf of Maine.
Conservation measures for habitat and wildlife are commonplace on land. The United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. has been protecting portions of land for natural resource conservation and recreation ever since Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone National Park, 2,219,791 acres (899,015 hectares), the world's first national park (est. 1872), NW Wyo., extending into Montana and Idaho. It lies mainly on a broad plateau in the Rocky Mts., on the Continental Divide, c. was established in 1872. Yet we have not made a similar investment in protecting our marine resources for enjoyment, ecological health Ecological health or ecological integrity or ecological damage is used to refer to symptoms of an ecosystem's pending loss of carrying capacity, its ability to perform nature's services, or a pending ecocide, due to cumulative causes such as pollution. and recovery, or to sustain the fishing industry.
Only a minute fraction--well less than one percent--of U.S. waters has been set aside for the purpose of conserving and protecting biological diversity. "Setting sections of the ocean aside in a network of marine reserves allows ecological communities Ecological communities
Assemblages of living organisms that occur together in an area. The nature of the forces that knit these assemblages into organized systems and those properties of assemblages that manifest this organization have been topics of intense to regenerate and rebuild," asserts Dr. Les Kaufman, a scientist at Boston University Boston University, at Boston, Mass.; coeducational; founded 1839, chartered 1869, first baccalaureate granted 1871. It is composed of 16 schools and colleges. and an internationally known expert in marine ecology. "When one area is protected, adjacent areas of the ocean will also benefit. Biological diversity recovery spills over, providing benefits to species outside of the reserve boundaries."
Over the past five years, CLF, partnered with World Wildlife Fund-Canada (WWF-Canada), has developed a strategy for a large-scale marine conservation plan that covers the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank and the Scotian Shelf--some 100,000 square miles from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia. Because ecology knows no political boundaries, it is critical that the United States and Canada work together to designate conservation areas to protect shared marine resources.
Ocean conservation areas are designed to allow all of the marine life comprising an ecosystem to prosper, increasing in number and size. In turn, when fish and other species increase in size, they can produce vastly more and healthier eggs. Populations therefore become stronger within the areas. Importantly, this helps to rebuild surrounding areas because fish and other marine life migrate out of the reserve area.
"We have designed networks of ocean conservation areas based on protecting each kind of marine habitat," Dr.John Crawford, senior scientist at CLF, explains. For example, shallow sandy areas where flounder flounder: see flatfish.
Any of about 300 species of flatfishes (order Pleuronectiformes). When born, the flounder is bilaterally symmetrical, with an eye on each side, and it swims near the sea's surface. and scallops thrive, rocky areas supporting juvenile cod and other fish, and deeper muddy habitats should all be included in a network in order to maximize protection of all marine species. "Each marine organism lives in association with every other marine organism in the ecosystem of which it is part. The kind of network we have envisioned would support all of the different types of marine life and help sustain whole ecosystems," Crawford continues.
Using satellite imagery, oceanographic features such as depth, temperature, salinity and bottom type, and existing government data about marine life, CLF and WWF-Canada used a complex computer program to assist with the identification and mapping of potential conservation areas (detailed map on pages 4-5). The methodology also allows for consideration of human uses such as fishing and recreation. A marine eco-regional conservation plan of this scale has never been undertaken for any region in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.
The CLF/WWF-Canada work shows how available marine science can be used to forge a coherent and scientifically-sound plan for an ocean conservation network. "Canada has a legal mandate to create a network of marine protected areas under its Oceans Act," Crawford states. "The U.S. needs comparable legislation. We must not wait any longer to move ahead with this essential form of ocean conservation."
Now published in a joint CLF/WWF-Canada report, this ground-breaking work will serve as an important foundation as we work to establish a network of ocean conservation areas that will sustain New England's natural resources, economy and heritage.
"Given appropriate protection, a network like this will make a major contribution to ensuring the health of our marine ecosystems and ensuring that future generations may enjoy the region's marine life, for fishing, wildlife appreciation, as a source of new pharmaceutical products, and for the same aesthetic values we hold for protected areas on land," Crawford says.
CLF will now work with policy-makers and constituents to create policies to implement conservation areas in the sea. "Public support for taking this step in marine conservation has grown rapidly, but a groundswell ground·swell
1. A sudden gathering of force, as of public opinion: a groundswell of antiwar sentiment.
2. is needed," Peter Shelley, director of CLF's Massachusetts Advocacy Center, said. A recent Pew Oceans Commission report has brought this issue into sharp focus and CLF is working with many others to bring to life a national imperative for ocean conservation. "We need to follow our northern neighbors and implement legislation like Canada's Oceans Act," Shelley stated.
We must not allow our marine resources to reach the desperate state of the Truffula Trees in The Lorax, but rather protect sections of the ocean so that marine organisms and the ocean-based economy can continue to prosper.
The stakes are clear, as The Lorax counsels: "'You're in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds. And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs. Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care. Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air. Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack. Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back.'"
We are all responsible for preserving the ocean's natural resources for future generations and must take active steps to ensure its protection. Then the wildlife that we all treasure for food, for work and for their own sake may come back.
Melanie Stein is Web and Publications Manager at CLF.
JOHN CRAWFORD, Ph.D. IS A SENIOR SCIENTIST and CLF's lead on the new marine conservation report, Marine Ecosystem Conservation for New England and Eastern Canada: a Science-Based Approach to the Identification of Priority Areas for Conservation, with WWF-Canada. "Using a science-based approach to identify priority areas for conservation and promoting policies that will enable this important step in the conservation of our marine ecosystems is a very high priority for CLF," Crawford states. Crawford joined CLF from a tenured ten·ured
Having tenure: tenured civil servants; tenured faculty.
Adj. 1. tenured faculty position at the University of Pennsylvania (body, education) University of Pennsylvania - The home of ENIAC and Machiavelli.
Address: Philadelphia, PA, USA. . He holds a B.S. from Duke University, a Ph.D. from Cornell University and an honorary degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Crawford is currently an Adjunct Professor of Biology at Boston University, where he is active in the Marine Program.